Child Proofing – It Shouldn’t Be This Complicated

25 01 2011

Our rental house has proven impossible to child-proof for a variety reasons.  The most important of which is my refusal to think of this as long-term housing for my family.  Because I feel it is temporary, I prefer temporary solutions.

And I do realize that there is no way in hell we are getting our deposit back (thank you, cat one, cat two and cat three.)  Still, it feels obnoxious to drill anchors into the walls every place we have a tall piece of furniture (which could topple over on the children when they are climbing to the top of it.)  This is something we did in our last house, but have avoided here.

I did break down and install the good child gate keeping the kids out of the kitchen area.  Which has been really helpful.

When it comes down to it, what is the simplest form of child-proofing?  Make sure you are in the same room with your kids so you can yell “no” at them every three-to-five seconds supervise and participate in their activities.  But I have two kids who believe whole-heartedly in the concept of divide and conquer.   If one is in the family room messing with the bird cage, the other goes in the bathroom and climbs into the sink.  If one is in the office banging on the keyboard, the other goes in the dining room and climbs on the table.  The obvious solution – SHUT THE DOORS.  But wait, they can open the doors.  So get the child-proof door handle covers, you idiots.

What, you mean these?

Notice, there are two different styles represented here.  Guess what? – neither fits our door knobs.  And I have been in a dozen stores looking for other options… no luck.

So, what do we do?

We flip the lock from the inside, then shut the door.

But of course there is no “key” for these types of locks.

So, if you look around our house, usually in spaces high above the kids heads, where there is no furniture to climb on, you will see this.

Hangers modified to be keys.

Believe it or not, this system is somewhat successful.  Except I have a daughter, who is in the process of potty-training.  And she loves to wear overalls.  Also, she loves her privacy.  So, she goes into the bathroom, locks the door, and then can’t get her overalls off to use the toilet.  If she gets stuck in the undressing process, she yells, “Help, help” in this new accent she has created for just this word, “HE-ELP, HE-ELP”.  Then I have to find a “key,” open the door and he-elp her get her overalls off.

Theoretically, I should also have to make sure Little Dude is safe while I am helping his sister.  But don’t worry, if he hears the door to the bathroom open, he runs in, after all, this might be the opportunity he was waiting for to throw a sippy cup, doll or full roll of toilet paper into the bowl.

Checking to see if I remembered to lock this one.

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5 responses

25 01 2011
roadtosam

Out of all the rooms in the house only Sam’s room and the bathroom have locking doors. And of course Sam has figured out how to lock said doors. And of course Sam cannot unlock said doors. And of course, Sam locked himself in his room whilst playing this morning whilst Gregg was downstairs changing a load of laundry. The story was relayed to me, and it involved a crowbar, because the credit card trick doesn’t work any more. I guess we need to invest in wire hangers…

25 01 2011
leigh

Oh, they’re crafty at this age. You have to be at the top of your game. I–unfortunately—never was. And I have the photos to prove it.

Good luck. May the force be with you.

25 01 2011
christine

small children can be diabolical. (does this fulfill any of the things on your goal list about child development? something tells me you already know this.)

26 01 2011
Jamie

Wow. That’s more difficult than keeping a great dane off the kitchen counters.

26 01 2011
Christine

Small children can be diabolical. (Does that meet the criteria for you learning something about child development? I think you knew that one, though, huh.)

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